In this review, I will take a deep look at several great trail camera SD card viewers and fully explore their traits.
I’ve spent years both working with camera equipment and exploring different trails. That combination allowed me to fully analyze the devices in this guide through a mix of in-depth research, personal experience, and first-hand accounts.
The Wildgame Innovations VU70 is my pick for the best SD card viewer because of how well it blends strength, specs, and usability.
It’s a truly complete machine. Not only do you get tough construction and a weather-resistant shell, but there’s a 7-inch screen, built-in speakers, and two SD card slots. The tablet-like design also makes it easy to control, tap, zoom, and delete your images as you see fit.
However, as great as it is, there are some other excellent viewer options as well. The following sections will break those down to help determine which is best for you.
Top Trail Camera SD Card Viewers
This section goes over each top SD card viewer by explaining their traits as well as their individual niches.
- Best for: Overall
- Key Features: 7-inch screen. HD videos and photographs. Dual SD card reader with two slots. Sleek design. Built-in speakers. Weather-resistant housing.
- Video Capture Resolution: 720p
- Screen Size: 7 inches
- Weight: 1.43 pounds
The VU70 from Wildgame Innovations kicks off my list because, despite being a viewer, it operates just like a tablet. You get a large 7-inch touchscreen as well as full HD images and videos. On top of that, it has full functionality with zooms, swipes, and simple navigation.
This also gives you extra durability thanks to the weather-resistant design, and provides two different slots to work with two SD cards. The dual reader design is great, as is the interface that lets you move through hundreds of images with just a couple of clicks.
The only downside this viewer has is that it can be a bit much for people not familiar with the technology. There’s a lot going on, which can be overwhelming if you aren’t prepared. I would have liked to see an included USB or extra cords as well.
- Best for: Toughness
- Key Features: Crystal clear 4.3-inch LCD screen. Tough ABS plastic housing with rubberized grip. Video playback with full photo viewing. Headphone jack.
- Video Capture Resolution: 480p
- Screen Size: 4.3-inches
- Weight: 9 ounces
It always helps to ensure your outdoor equipment is tough. This viewer from HME gives you that reliability thanks to the strong ABS plastic housing and rugged, rubber grip. Both ensure nothing will break when you take it out into tough or unexpected conditions.
However, the device is more than its durability. You also get full video playback with audio alongside a 4.3-inch LCD screen that looks great in all types of light. Users will also love the functionality. You get photo viewing complete with the ability to freely zoom, scroll, and delete.
The only downside to this sturdy model is that the battery life could be a lot better. You definitely want to have some extras on hand if you plan on taking it out for a long period of time. Going through the pictures is also a bit slow, but the increased usability more than makes up for it.
- Best for: Usability
- Key Features: Rubberized frame and sturdy build. 4.3-inch color screen. Headphone jack and audio playback. Wrist lanyard for easy carrying.
- Video Capture Format: MP4
- Screen Size: 4.3 inches
- Weight: 12 ounces
The Stealth Cam Reader is a fantastic SD card viewer for trail camera users looking for a streamlined design. That’s because it’s easy to handle and simple to operate. Not only does it have you covered with a wrist lanyard and ergonomic design, it also has a streamlined interface.
In terms of specs, you also get an incredibly bright 4.3-inch LCD screen, video playback with full audio, and a slot that works with memory cards of up to 64GB. Add on the rubber grip and automatically shut off and you get a viewer that all users can operate in any condition.
While this model is functional, it does take a while to load when you’re going through the pictures. That’s not a huge deal, but some may find it irksome. This device also uses AAA batteries, which don’t quite have the lifespan of a rechargeable option.
- Best for: Portability
- Key Features: Compatible with multiple interfaces/ports. Simultaneous charging and reading. Plug-and-play design. Easy to use. Portable and lightweight.
- Video Capture Resolution: 480p
- Interfaces: Linux, Android, Windows, iOS, Mac
- Weight: 0.5 ounces
While most of the options on my list are tablet-like in their design, this viewer breaks that mold by giving you an extremely portable device you can slip into your pocket. This works with different devices thanks to the multiple interfaces and can charge and read at the same time.
The biggest bonus of this viewer is that it can fit into your pocket, but that’s also its biggest downside. You need to use it with a phone or similar portable device. If you do plug it into your phone, be aware that it won’t always be able to fit with all types of cases.
If you can get past those small setbacks, the viewer is easy to use and has some of the simplest setup on the market. In fact, the plug-and-play design makes it one of the best on-site options for people who need to view, share, or delete photos and videos right away.
- Best for: Compatibility
- Key Features: Supports four different interfaces for maximum versatility. Excellent usability. Simple data management and sharing. Smartphone functionality
- Video Capture Resolution: 480p
- Screen Size: 8 inches
- Weight: 8 ounces
Compatible with every trail camera brand on the market and supporting four different interfaces, the Trail Cam Tracker Reader is all about compatibility. This device works with so many different devices that it’s incredibly easy to both manage and share your data regardless of what you use.
This viewer utilizes a plug-and-play design that makes it convenient to use no matter where your trail camera is set up. The internal interface also lets you quickly share, save, or delete any of your footage at any time. There are also no batteries and you don’t need Wi-Fi for it to work.
Just know it’s a simpler, stripped-down device. Some people may value that cut-back interface, but others might want something more. If you want a more well-rounded viewer packed with features, this likely isn’t for you. Even so, it’s great for those who just want to get the job done.
How to Choose a Trail Camera SD Card Viewer
When getting an SD card viewer for your trail camera, it’s important to keep the following aspects in mind.
Anytime you’re dealing with a viewer, it’s important to pay attention to the display. This factor is critical because there are many different screens out there and they each support different utilities. It’s also critical to get a bright display that’s easy to see and read without any trouble.
Know if you want a TFT option or an LCD. While LCDs do tend to have better picture and larger screens, that extra size does mean you’re losing a bit of portability. The final decision comes down to what traits you value most with your trail camera SD card viewer.
As with the display, audio is another important consideration when getting an SD card viewer. This largely comes down to budget and what you want for your needs. Some models have limited or no audio, but more expensive ones come with strong built-in speakers.
Get the audio that best fits your budget. Also know that certain devices utilize audio playback, which picks up any noises or sounds that might not necessarily be on screen. That gives you a much better idea of what’s happening around your camera.
Something else to consider when getting a viewer is any extra traits it might have that similar models lack. There are a lot of devices out there, and they all bring something different to the table. For instance, some might allow you to zoom in on your images or easily sort them.
Beyond that, also look for real-time sharing, editing features, and the ability to delete. Such additions give you control over what images you keep and which you discard. Easy sharing function also goes a long way. The more traits a model has, the more versatility it comes with.
I believe that the Wildgame Innovations VU70 is the most well-rounded trail camera SD card viewer money can buy. It’s a strong, weather-resistant device that has the toughness to hold up outside as well as the specs and functionality needed to be truly usable.
It can handle two cards at once, comes with plenty of extra traits, and utilizes a sharp 7-inch backlit touchscreen. Those characteristics all come together to create a one-of-a-kind viewer that every user will be able to appreciate.